CROCKETTSVILLE, Ky. — Five years after the first charity concert and trail ride in Crockettsville in 2008, Chad Warrix and David Tolliver are continuing to use music to raise money for local charities. This year’s headliner, the popular country duo Montgomery Gentry, brought an estimated crowd of 20,000.
The 2012 Crockettsville Charity Concert and Trail Ride also brought in over $80,000, bringing the five-year total to over $540,000. All of that money is donated to charities. The primary benefactor is the Buckhorn Children’s Center, however, this year the founders of the concert, Warrix and Toliver, formerly of Halfway 2 Hazard, have decided to spread the money around.
“That is a huge amount of money no matter where you are, but especially here in Eastern Kentucky where poverty and the economy affects people and jobs are harder to come by,” said Warrix.
Even before the concert, Warrix, Toliver, and several music industry representatives donated $12,000 in instruments to Breathitt and Rockcastle County Schools. Warrix said this was a component of the charity he was excited to start since he and the other artists were able to find so much love and enjoyment through music.
“I have been as passionate about doing that as I have been in including the ATVs (as part of the event),” said Warrix. “I really wanted to make this thing about instruments and music because I believe that.”
Troy Gentry, half of Montgomery Gentry, said that music in schools meant a lot to him growing up. “Bringing instruments into the school, I played saxophone in junior high and high school before I broke off and got into the guitar,” he said.
This year’s haul will make $500,000 that have been donated to the Buckhorn Children’s Center from the Crockettsville Charity Concert and Trail Ride since 2008. The center houses children, giving them counseling and opportunities to excel.
Gentry said he enjoys working with children’s charities since they help to ensure a positive future.
“Kids are our future, and we have to give them the best opportunities for their future,” he said.
According to event organizer Janet Smith, this year’s concert and trail ride was on par with the biggest year on record when Tim McGraw preformed in 2009. Early estimates say that over 20,000 people came out to the farm in Breathitt County to watch the performances.
“Every year it just keeps growing from the amount of people that show up to the amount of volunteers that want to help out,” said Warrix. “It just makes you so proud, it just makes you feel like a proud parent.”
Part of the reason the event keeps growing is the caliber of entertainers that come to Crockettsville every year. Halfway 2 Hazard is able to use their influences in Nashville to get performers to volunteer their time to play.
Warrix said Montgomery Gentry has been a band they have wanted to have come play for several years, but due to scheduling conflicts they were not able to come. “For the last three years we have tried to get the schedules to work out for them to be here, and this year finally (it worked),” said Warrix.
He said that he and Tolliver have always looked at the members of Montgomery Gentry as role models since they too are a country music duo from Kentucky. “Troy and Eddie are obviously a very successful duo from Kentucky kind of like David and I from Halfway 2 Hazard,” said Warrix. “So we have always looked up to those guys as mentors.”
The work for the 2013 Crockettsville starts just about as soon as the last one ends. Smith said they are already starting to put out the word about the concert to try to find acts for next year.